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In Honor of the Golden Collar Awards, It’s the 10 Best Movie Dogs Ever

Toto, Old Yeller and Baxter
MGM, Walt Disney Productions, Dreamworks SKG

There is a new awards ceremony to add to the list of Hollywood events this year. For the first time, on February 13th, the unsung heroes of the movies will be celebrated at the Golden Collar Awards.

Dog Daily News has established these awards to recognize the achievements of canines in film and television. And, even in its first year, the Golden Collar Awards have already sparked controversy by not including Blackie from Martin Scorcese’s film ‘Hugo,’ prompting a letter writing campaign by Scorcese himself.

We think these awards are long overdue. Dogs have been making movies better from the beginning. We just hope that with this added attention, maybe the dogs will start getting the credit, and credits, they deserve. See a list of our favorite movie dogs and their incredible performances below.

Asta, ‘The Thin Man’ (1934)

This pooch sleuth stayed with the ‘Thin Man’ franchise through at least four of the six films and a television series. He helped solve mysteries, provided comic relief and even had subplots of his own. Skippy the Wire-haired Terrier worked with some of the biggest actors of his time. He must’ve been good, because he was brought back to play Asta in the subsequent films even after he bit Myrna Loy during the filming of the first movie.

Toto, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ (1939)

Never has there been such a faithful pup as Toto, who not only endures threats from a grouchy neighbor at home, but also escapes a kidnapping to join Dorothy in her adventure over the rainbow, only to be threatened by a witch on the other side. In the classic MGM film, Toto was played masterfully by Terry, an adorable female Cairn Terrier, who actually broke her foot while making ‘The Wizard of Oz.’  She set a perfect example for movie dogs to come.

‘Old Yeller’ (1957)

There was an entire generation of boys who thought this dog was the epitome of man’s best friend. The dog took on a bear. It really doesn’t get better than that. But you don’t have to be a dog person to feel like the end of this movie is one of the most tragic ever made. Old Yeller was expertly played by Spike, a yellow Labrador Retriever.

Bodger and Luath, ‘The Incredible Journey’ (1963)

http://youtu.be/vOVGZN9pSg8

You know you’re loved when your dogs (and cat) will travel 200 or 300 miles in uncharted backwoods territory to get home to you. And nothing makes you want a pet more than believing that it would have the same devotion to you. Muffy the Bull Terrier and Rink the Labrador Retriever played the loyal pups. Coincidentally, the dog Bodger was written and referred to as a male, but the Bull Terrier who played him in the movie was clearly a female.

‘Benji’ (1974)

http://youtu.be/RwyMDMQ3z7A

If you were a child of the ’70s and ’80s, there was no more lovable movie dog than Benji. He was so brave and loyal and just plain cute. Higgins, a Cocker Spaniel/Poodle/Schnauzer mix, appeared only once as Benji, but he was arguably the best. He was rescued from a shelter by well-known trainer Frank Inn and his urn was buried with Inn when he passed away.

Hooch,  ‘Turner and Hooch’ (1989)

Hooch was definitely a force to be reckoned with in this very ’80s flick. The key to solving a murder, Hooch had to be adopted by Detective Turner (Tom Hanks), but he didn’t have to like it. This dog was so cool, he even drank beer. Maybe that’s where he got his name. Beasley the French Mastiff played Hooch in his first and only film.

Frank the Pug, ‘Men In Black’ (1997)

There are not many dogs who can pull off the roll of a talking alien in disguise, but the uncredited Mushu the Pug captured the essence of an alien in a strange place perfectly. He was so good, he returned for the sequel. The only difficult thing about playing a talking dog is knowing that the director can change your dialogue in the edit room, which is what happed to Frank in the movie. Will we see him in next summer’s ‘Men in Black III’?

Skip, ‘My Dog Skip’ (2000)

http://youtu.be/i6ziouYQLgk

When Skip hit the big screens in 2000, it was time for a new generation of boys to know what a dog should be. The little Jack Russell Terrier, known as Enzo off set, stole hearts and the show. It’s no surprise that Enzo was the son of famous scene stealer Eddie from ‘Frasier,’ who he sometimes filled in for on the show.

Baxter, ‘Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy’ (2004)

One of the few creatures who truly understood Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgandy, Baxter was the kind of dog who could really take a hit and still come out smiling. The uncredited pooch, who may be a Parsons Russell Terrier, is so loved by fans that he even has his own Facebook page.

Uggie, ‘The Artist’ (2011)

In this film, Uggie the dog proves that a talented dog can steal scenes, even when the playing field has been leveled and the humans can’t use words to connect with the audience either. Another crowd pleasing Jack Russell Terrier, Uggie as himself continues to steal the spotlight at red carpet events throughout awards season, and was even on hand to announce the nominees for the Golden Collar Awards. Basically, he’s the canine world’s Meryl Streep.

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